I'm learning to play chess.

Twice we had a situation where the white player moved a piece that was blocking the black Queen from checking the white King. There was no move available to announce "Check".

What is the proper procedure here?

  • Welcome to Chess.SE! Don't forget to "checkmark" an answer if it correctly answers your question.
    – Brandon_J
    Jan 22, 2019 at 0:28

3 Answers 3


It's not technically a check since Black wasn't making a move to check White's king. White made an illegal move that placed his King under attack.

Black should mention that White made an illegal move, getting White to take the move back and play something else. If you're playing in a tournament, you could call the arbiter over and say White made an illegal move (often 3 illegal moves = forfeit).

  • 1
    The FIDE Rules state that a game is to be declared lost for the playing making TWO illegal moves. (FIDE Handbook 7.5 b: "After the action taken under Article 7.5.a, for the first completed illegal move by a player the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent; for the second completed illegal move by the same player the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.") Jan 24, 2019 at 15:13
  • Yes but the OP stated he was learning how to play chess, so I assumed he wasn't a regular at FIDE tournaments. Many local tournaments I've played in do the 3 move rule. Jan 25, 2019 at 15:37
  • I see your point and think it is absolutely valid - my comment was solely intended to provide additional input with sources, I aim to provide constructive feedback (I am still fairly new here and was reaching the character limit...). Looking at the information, I'd propose adding something along the lines of "Different organizations / private play may apply different rulings" to the answer, this is naturally, as it is your answer, at your discretion. :) Jan 28, 2019 at 14:13

The player of the white pieces has made an illegal move. Touch-move applies so he must take back his illegal move and make a legal move. If it is possible to make a legal move with the piece he touched then he must make a legal move with the touched piece. If there are no legal moves with the piece he touched then he may make any legal move. This is important because often making a legal move with the touched piece loses the game immediately.

  • Touch move applies only if they are playing with touch move. If they're just starting to learn chess, they are probably playing casual games, not tournament ones. Also, if they are playing with touch-move, then if a piece was captured with a piece that cannot be legally moved, and the piece can be captured with another piece, then the player must do so. Feb 11, 2019 at 23:41

Leaving the king exposed to check is an illegal move. Simply ask the player to make another legal move.

  • Note that "another legal move" might be restricted due to the touch-move-rule (as Brian Towers pointed out in his answer).
    – BNetz
    Jan 29, 2019 at 22:20

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